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a question for all you who eat lots of pulses

(15 Posts)
mothersmilkandherchickenseggs Wed 27-Mar-13 15:29:24

do you buy tins/cartons or dried? seems silly I know but we eat a lot of veggy anyway and iv done both but I prefer the tins because they never seem to have the right texture when I cook them myself. But although we do eat a lot of veggy stuff already I would like to step it up a bit and have just one meat night a week. I don't like quorn or meat substitutes or such like but love lentils and beans I realise it would be cost effective to buy dry so if anyone could help with tips on how to cook them well and make it not so much of a time consuming task it would be much apprieciated smile

NettoSuperstar Wed 27-Mar-13 15:32:54

I have plenty of both in stock, and use them differently depending on what I'm making/how2 much time I have.

I cook them from dried in my slow cooker and they freeze well.

WhinyCrabbyPeople Wed 27-Mar-13 15:37:13

Do you soak them overnight? Most of them need it (except lentils) and then they only have to cook for about an hour. I soak them in a bowl of water on the counter overnight and then just stick them on to cook (in fresh water) when I know I'm going to be at home for an hour...sometimes that doesn't happen u til the late afternoon and they are always fine. I freeze them in roughly recipe-sized portions in little sandwich bags.

Takver Wed 27-Mar-13 16:18:10

If you don't have time to soak overnight, if you put them in water & bring it up to the boil then turn off & soak for a couple of hours it works just as well. Then cook in a pressure cooker if you have one to speed things up even more.

The other thing that works very well for me if I am being organised is to 'haybox' them - so soak overnight, then bring to the boil in the morning, boil hard for 10 minutes, then take them off the heat, stand on a wooden board & wrap really well in towels to keep the heat in. Which I guess is very much like using a slow cooker.

frenchfancy Wed 27-Mar-13 20:44:48

We eat beans and pulses at least three times a week. I always have both canned and dried in, but tend to use canned more often.

snoworneahva Wed 27-Mar-13 21:13:13

If you can cook them in bulk and freeze in portions. Dried have always tasted better but they can be a pain to remember to soak. Puy lentils have a good texture and don't need soaking and cook in about 30 mins...think green or brown lentils are a good substitute. Think aduki beans might not need soaking either.

MrsBertMacklin Wed 27-Mar-13 21:27:27

I think the big squishy beans like butterbeans, chickpeas and haricot, are fine from tins. I find that tinned lentils, split peas, cannellini and flageolet though, are slimy and have no bite to them when canned, so I keep those dried.

This is a really good recent thread about what to do with beans and pulses, I've taken a lot of ideas from it. Also Nigel Slater loves them, so if you google him and beans, lots of good recipes.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 28-Mar-13 13:34:08

Lentils we always buy dried. They don't take long to cook.

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Thu 28-Mar-13 16:02:21

I buy dried green and orange lentils but everything else I buy tinned. I've been using lots of tesco value kidney beans recently - great in chilli or we have chick pea and kidney bean curry made with value tinned tomatoes - super cheap.

I'm a bit nervous about dried beans, even though I know they'd work out cheaper especially from the Asian supermarket.

BoBoo Thu 28-Mar-13 16:12:32

Another one who freezes - cook a huge pan when I have time and then stick them in the freezer so always have them on hand. Lentils I just keep in the cupboard as they don't take long to cook but would use from a can if I wanted to put in a salad e.g. chickpeas.

dimsum123 Fri 29-Mar-13 17:31:32

Soak overnight, cook in pressure cooker the next day, takes 10 mins.

Renaissancewoman Fri 29-Mar-13 17:49:41

I find frequent changing of water and rinsing both when soaking and cooking deals with slime issues. Beans generally do take a lot of cooking. I generally boil on the hob for an hour and a bit and then put in a casserole in oven for another hour and a bit!

nutritioncoach Fri 29-Mar-13 17:52:47

Red lentils and quinoa don't need pre-soaking. the Quinoa is a complete protein so great for veggies. I love turning the lentils into a curry with fresh spinach. and the quinoa is great in a veggie soup - cooked in a pressure cooker it only takes about 10-15 mins, genius!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 30-Mar-13 09:36:38

Another one for freezing. What I do is take the whole packet of beans or chickpeas, soak overnight and cook the next day, skimming off all froth in the process. The important part is that, once cooked, leave to drain in a colander until they have gone totally cold. Then put them in a large freezer bag, spreading the beans out in a thin layer (sitting the bag on a tray helps) and freeze. By making sure there is no excess moisture present the beans all separate nicely after they are frozen and you can use them like peas.

AnimatedDad Sat 30-Mar-13 10:11:36

I have cans ,dried red lentils and puy lentils for when I need them on the spur of the moment (puy lentils are great for French style recipes).

And I have dried for big quantity cooking and when I've got time to soak.

I'm told pressure cookers reduce/remove the need to soak but I'd look online for specific advice for different beans.

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